If you have a residential garage, then you probably have or have heard of garage door insulation. Whether your garage is attached to or separated from the house, it is preferable to have an insulated garage door. Insulation is much more needed if your garage doubles up as a space for family activities. If your garage is also used by the family as a workroom, gym, or playroom, then it is absolutely necessary that the door is insulated.
There are several types of insulation that can be used on garage doors. These different types of insulation include flexible batt insulation, foam board insulation, and reflective insulation, which has highly reflective aluminum foil. The materials used for plastic-based insulation are either polyurethane or polystyrene. In terms of warming up the garage, polyurethane is by far better than polystyrene because it gives the best thermal resistance per inch of thickness. However, polystyrene is now sold CFC-free, which is more environmentally-friendly. While there are insulation kits available to install to garage doors, you can also purchase pre-insulated garage doors that are available in many styles, designs, and materials.
Getting garage door insulation with the best thermal resistance value and energy efficiency is important. This is because these factors prevent overheating and freezing problems, and keeps you and your family safe and comfortable.
Many studies prove that insulated garage doors can keep the garage area warmer by 12 degrees in the winter. In the summer, it will keep the garage cooler by about 25 degrees. It also lowers your energy bills and acts as a barrier to street noise.
Here are some of the reasons why insulating your garage door is important:
1. It saves energy. Some homeowners overlook their garage when it comes to saving energy, and as a result, its construction is less energy efficient than other parts of the house. What many people don’t realize is that garages act as buffer zones between the heated indoor and outdoor weather. When you add insulation to your garage door, it can help save energy because it moderates the temperature in your garage, which in turn reduces the amount of energy required to heat the rest of your home. Because your heater won’t need to work as hard, you save on a significant amount of energy. The bottom line is that it is energy-efficient to have your garage door insulated.
2. It makes garage doors more durable. An insulated garaged door is more durable because it is constructed mainly with a steel or aluminum frame. The frame is usually filled with solid-core insulation. This insulation is sandwiched between steel panels, making them less likely to dent. Insulated garage doors can withstand bumps from children’s bikes, hits from basketballs or footballs, or scratches from wind-blown objects. It also maintains the temperature in the part of the door where the mechanism is located. This means that these parts aren’t vulnerable to extreme conditions, which help prolong their lifespan.
3. It protects your car. Under very cold temperatures, your car can have a shorter battery life and it won’t be able to run properly. When the temperature is warmer inside your garage because you have an insulated door, it can protect your car from freezing conditions. Garage door winter insulation is very essential.
There are several differences between insulated and non-insulated garage doors. Here are some of them:
1. Noise Level An insulated garage door is quieter than a non-insulated garage door. If you have lightweight doors without insulation, they tend to make a lot of noise. The reason behind this is because the extra insulation pads most of the vibration and helps reduce the noise coming from outside the door, including street traffic. It also helps reduce the noise level coming from within the garage, which means sparing your neighbors from power tool noises or guitar riffs from your child’s rock band practice.
2. Thicker Doors Insulated doors are usually constructed with two layers of steel with a layer of insulation. Thus, when there is insulation, a garage door is much thicker. A non-insulated door typically has an open back and is constructed from steel. When the weather gets too hot or too cold, a non-insulated door has the tendency to let either cold air in or overheat the garage. Both conditions may damage your car and other belongings housed inside the garage.
3. Cost An insulated garage door will cost you more versus a non-insulated one. A non-insulated door will save you money because it is made with only one layer of steel, and can be ideal for regional areas with mild climates year-round.
4. Sturdiness and Strength Insulated garage doors are sturdier than their non-insulated counterparts. They provide more strength because of a double layer of steel, which make them more resistant to dents and bumps.
Many people who are intent on having an insulated garage door purchase a new one that is already insulated. What they do is replace their garage door with a new, insulated model. The average cost of an insulated garage door is about $1,400 for a two-car garage. However, if you have a garage door that is working perfectly, it really doesn’t make sense to replace it just because you want to save on energy. If you are not ready to shell out give or take a thousand dollars, the best thing to do is to insulate your existing garage door.
Although there are many installation kits available in the market, these are only short-term options. Since they can flake or break apart after a while, you would need to insulate your garage door again and again. The long-term solution is to buy insulated garage doors and have them properly installed. It may be considered an added investment, but purchasing a fully insulated garage door can be worthwhile in the long run.
Homeowners can opt to purchase insulation kits and reinforce their garage doors with insulated panels. Available at home centers, two kits usually cover a 16-foot wide garage door. The most common kits available in the market are polystyrene insulating panels. However, this material is highly flammable and it must be covered with another material in order to protect it from being ignited.
You should be able to match the type of garage door to an appropriate insulation. For instance, steel garage doors can accommodate any type of insulation, but for flat garage door without panels, you should use a foam board or reflective insulation.
Aside from the insulation itself, you should also purchase doorstop vinyl weather stripping in order to seal the top and sides of your garage door. In order to mount the doorstop weather stripping properly, make sure that it seals against the door even in extreme weather conditions.
It is also important to test the door for balance after you have added the insulation. Since it adds weight to the door, it might throw off the balance. An unbalanced door can damage your garage door opener.
While there are ways to insulate your garage door on your own, these are not usually long-term options. It is best if a professional take a look at the garage door to check if there are damage, rust, or holes. The reality is that sometimes heat loss happens because of air gaps. You can also let a professional installer take care of the insulation work and also make sure that other aspects are taken into consideration just to make sure that everything is done right.
In most cases, it is enough to insulate a garage door. The key is to have insulation properly and thoroughly installed to get the best results. If your garage door is properly installed, there should be a marked difference in the temperature inside of the garage versus the outside, especially on extremely cold or extremely hot days. When there isn’t much of a difference, then the door insulation is not in good shape.
It also depends on your reasons for insulation. If you just want to lower heating and cooling costs, then you can just insulate the garage door as well as other walls touching other parts of your house. If there is a finished room above the garage, you may also opt to insulate the garage ceiling. When your garage door is properly insulated, the highs or lows of temperatures will not be felt acutely, providing a more comfortable indoor temperature.
In some climates, insulating parts of the garage, including the garage door is enough. They can then use the space beyond storing cars. In places with extreme temperatures, if they want to use the garage as a workspace for hobbies, a gym, or an extra bedroom, then the entire garage should be insulated.